Eric's message about Ajax reminded me about something I've working on
for the last couple of years; more precisely, it reminded me that I
should share this work with a wider audience, and people here at
code4lib will probably have something to say.

The project is Catalis, a web application for cataloging with AACR2 +
MARC21, developed using an Ajax-ian approach:

   Web site:

   Online demo:
   (follow the link "Acceso a Catalis", it opens a fullscreen window; use
   'xx' as user, 'test' as password, and try to have fun)

Catalis was originally developed for *IE 6*, and it is working OK only
on this browser. The adaptation work to make it cross-browser (meaning:
IE 6, FF 1.0, Moz 1.7) is in a very advanced state, but a few issues
remain to be solved. I can provide a devel URL for those who ask.

One of the main reasons why I've been delaying the exposure of this work
among non-Spanish developers/users is that the interface was developed
in Spanish, and I still haven't thought of a convenient solution to make
it customizable in various languages (I've been looking at how MediaWiki
has solved it, but maybe there are other useful approaches...) Anyway,
I'm sure that people on this list will be able to explore the interface
without understanding all the labels and messages.

The other pending issue is the licensing terms. The software is open
source, but I've had little patience to study and decide which license
is "best"; the fact that Catalis uses some pieces of code written by
others makes the situation a bit more confusing as to how to proceed.

Some technical details: heavy use of Javascript + DOM, remote scripting
via hidden iframe, client-side XML handling, server-side scripts using
wwwisis (cds/isis databases are the de-facto standard in libraries in
many Latin American and other developing countries).

Catalis is being used in a few libraries in Argentina, where adoption of
MARC21 as a bibliographic format is a recent trend. I do not know what
interest can such an application generate in places where MARC has been
in use forever, but perhaps developers could find something useful here.
Of course, there are lot of things to add, such as integrated authority
control, contextual help/examples, better data validation, etc etc.

I'd like to know what you think. Thanks!


Fernando J Gómez
Biblioteca Dr. Antonio Monteiro
Instituto de Matemática de Bahía Blanca
Conicet / Universidad Nacional del Sur
Av. Alem 1253
B8000CPB Bahía Blanca - Argentina
Tel. (54 291) 459 5116